The study of history is a complex endeavor. Not only is it a study of the past, it also deals with the deeply rooted beliefs and values of people. In many cases, people have died or been silenced because of their views about the past. In fact, a video of a historical event can only answer so many questions.
The mid-1800s saw the emergence of a group of historical theorists who argued that history must employ the same logic of explanation as natural science. In the philosophy of history derived from Augustine (1798-1857), history should be understood as the recording of the struggle between the elect of God and the self-loving self-lovers.
People can learn about history by learning about the past of their families, their country, and their community. This knowledge can give a person a sense of identity. Schools all over the world teach history, so students can learn about countries, families, and groups and how they changed throughout history. People can also learn about their family history to understand how their family has interacted with larger changes in history. For example, family members may have been involved in major wars or witnessed major events.
Philosophy of history is a branch of philosophy that uses the most advanced theories in core areas of philosophy to analyze the past. It focuses on questions such as how we come to know the past, what constitutes the past, and how we can best describe the past. It also addresses questions of causality and evidence. In addition, history studies the causes and consequences of human events, such as the development of societies and the development of cultures.
The methods of historical research vary according to the area of study. For example, historians may focus on a group of people, a single event, a country, or even a limited time period. Often, historians use oral accounts and written documents as evidence to answer their questions. Additionally, they may consult inscriptions and archives.
Hegel’s Introduction to Philosophy of History, published posthumously in 1837, is a classic example of philosophy of history. While it does not explicitly address religion, Hegel considers history as a form of secular eschatology. Hegel claims that history is a progressive structure of oppositions. This theory of history entails specific consequences for historiography.
Karl Marx engaged with Hegel’s historiography and incorporated Hegel’s theory into his own theory of history. The result was a history of the past based on dialectics. In other words, a historical event occurs when the opposite thesis confronts the opposite thesis. This process reveals new ideas to humankind.